What Greyhound Taught Me About Priviledge

Greyhound says you’re not important

The ticket clerk rolls her eyes

Tells you to deal with it.

Bus driver scoffs

Tells the last 15 people in line,

who are paying customers,

to wait for the next bus,

this one’s already full.

I sit in the back.

The lavatory door doesn’t shut,

It swings open whenever the bus turns.

The driver calls everyone to prayer

in a church I do not feel welcome in.

Everyone speaks my second language.

My tongue is broken

it is a record scratch.

The bus is full of men.

The hour-long layover turns into no more

than five minutes.

Our driver mocks his own passengers,

says, “this ain’t no Disneyland ride.”

Customer service hotline is disconnected

No one to tell you that you’re right.

A woman stumbles into the broken stall,

mumbles to herself

and comes out smelling of gin and pinesol.

You are a pretty white girl

on a Greyhound bus.

Your boarding pass says

someone will come looking for you.

It says you got a little too used to taking airplanes.

The driver told you not to sit up front,

you look a little too used to that type of treatment.

I stop holding my girlfriend’s hand

in the station.

Somewhere between Waco and Tulsa

I lean in to kiss her and she stops me.

We arrive in Dallas

and I am reminded that here,

they shot JFK in broad daylight

so I don’t stand up for myself.

I take a seat,

learn something the rest of the world

already knows about.

I am told the first row of seats

Is not allowed to be occupied

because too many drivers got stabbed.

Hours of empty field roll by outside the window.

We have 3 more stops and no one gets off.

Everyone has 6 pairs of eyes

and I am suddenly self-conscious

of my buzzed hair,

the half naked mermaid tattooed to my arm.

There are only 10 hours to Oklahoma City

where I can go back to the real world again.

The one where I am not a rolling field,

that everyone stares at

but just passes by.




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